Thursday, March 29, 2012

Top Choice

Only with a fresh hair cut does Rugby's fluff reveal our training equipment of choice. With a couple weeks of growth the two-ring training collar is concealed beneath his hair. I have been answering a lot of questions the past few weeks about our choice in equipment so I thought I would post my top three reasons for choosing this collar here.

1) Transfer of responsibility to the dog.
The goal of our training is not only to get Rugby to follow commands promptly and completely, but also to think for himself. My number one reason for choosing the chain training collar is that when the job is done, the collar comes off and Rugby is just as reliable naked as he was with the collar on.

2) Safety
No dog will be able to back out of or chew through a chain training collar. Being able to maintain control through stressful situations is essential. If the dog can not be trusted off lead, I will not use equipment they can escape from.

3) Immediate Response
Clear communication with the training collar includes quick, short corrections AND immediate release of pressure when the correction is over. When Rugby does not need the extra guidance of the collar, it is loose and light weight around his neck. This also makes the transition to off lead much easier. 

Rugby has worn his training collar since he was four months old. I am extremely happy with the results.

I also have to mention that Rugby earned 11 more OTCH points, UDX legs #5 and #6 and another High Combined last weekend. Good boy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big Dog Bag

Since Diesel was working so nicely in Novice and Open, why not start him in Utility? We started the Utility exercise and another problem presented itself. Now that he has his own set of articles, he also needed a good way to carry them around. For a short time we were using an old soft sided dog carrier that belonged to my first dog. It was less than ideal. Not only because the articles were not easily accessible... it was also pink. Poor dog.

One of our friends had just gotten a brand new article bag from OTCH Articles, and highly recommended the bags to us. We were sold! Linda was a joy to work with. She sent us several design options and modified the embroidery to fit our tastes.

The bag has two pockets, one on each side and a velcro closure on top. It makes dumping the articles out and putting them back in very easy! I ordered the medium sized bag for Diesel and his 4" triple bar articles fit perfectly!

If you are looking for a new scent article bag, Linda gets our vote! Diesel's training was put on hold along with the blog the last couple of weeks, but we are excited to pick back up again and use our new bag! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Half Way There

Rugby hasn't stopped moving since February. We have been extra busy working, training and teaching the past couple of weeks. Now that we are half way through March, it is time to slow down again. 

Rugby ate his first whole bird a two weeks ago. The quail should have lasted Rugby for two meals, but he finished it in one. He also made an enormous mess of his face.

Rugby has truly embracing his mature, working dog status. He was a huge help in teaching Bell to walk nicely on a leash while we were visiting her earlier this month. By the end of the week Rugby had convinced her that heel position was THE place to be and the two of them took turns walking in the proper position. 

The long awaited hair cut finally came. It was bad. Very bad. This is Rugby half-way done and already showing signs of a bad grooming job.

As far as Rugby's quest for his Obedience Trial Championship? He is half-way! Rugby won the Utility B class at the Lancaster Kennel Club for 27 points, and another point from a 3rd place in Open B. That was good enough for his 3rd UDX leg and High Combined. 

Fatigue started to set in the next day and it showed in his wild exuberance in the ring. He held it together enough to earn his 4th UDX leg, and then he checked out. He was tired and distracted by the time we made it into the ring Saturday. We NQed in Utility, and I let him have the rest of the weekend off. We need to work on his mental stamina! 

He did end the weekend with a new total of 54 OTCH points and 4 UDX legs. I am very happy with him!